Our rich Catholic history begins in 1938 with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York. The first four sisters, who courageously accepted this challenging ministry, staffed the school through its decades of organization and growth. Since that time, St. Francis Xavier School has continued to provide an excellent Catholic education for elementary students throughout Southwest Florida.
Following its first year, the size of the school’s faculty and student enrollment continuously increased. The original four teachers and 68 students in 1938 grew to 11 teachers and 280 students in 1974. Now, we welcome 580+ students in Pre-K 3 through Grade 8 with a staff of about 65. While the school remains in its original location in Fort Myers, the classrooms and buildings have expanded over time to accommodate its growth.
The first four classrooms were expanded in 1943 and again in 1954. A major expansion in 1980 doubled the number of classrooms and enlarged other areas. In 1995, the “Annette Unger Multi-Media and Library Center” was opened. A state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility, the “Father Thomas Anglim Gymnasium,” was completed three years later.
The school continued to stay ahead of the academic curve, with the addition of “The Sister Elaine Mahoney Early Learning Center,” originally deemed “The Sister Elaine Mahoney Child Care Center at St. Francis Xavier School” in 2001. Other additions have been included over the years to accommodate the expanding number of students and educational programs, such as our Spanish and music programs.
We are thrilled to have all our upgraded facilities and converted classrooms match 21st century learning, with appropriate technology. Recently, St. Francis Xavier acquired iPads for all students grades 5-8. These advances have allowed our school to become multi-generational, with several alumni both working on our faculty and staff and sending their own children to school here.
The academic excellence of St. Francis Xavier School was nationally recognized in 1998-1999 as a “Blue Ribbon School” by the U.S. Department of Education. St. Francis Xavier was the first Catholic elementary school within the Diocese of Venice to hold this prestigious honor.